When Kerry Collins tried to sneak the ball into the end zone from the 1-yard line toward the end of Sunday’s game, all he could see was basically a flying ball of hair.
That was Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who leaped across the line of scrimmage, landing on Collins and taking him down for a 1-yard loss.
“I saw him up there, and I was trying to get the snap and get low and get in there,” Collins said. “It was kind of a hurry-up situation. I looked and saw it was him and he had to have jumped over the pile. The guy is a great player.
“I kind of looked up, and said, 'Dude, that was a great play.' What can you say?”
Polamalu’s play of leaping over the line is legal, as the rules to gain leverage and leap over people apply only to kicking situations, according to Jeff Fisher.
“As long as you’re not in the neutral zone or over the neutral zone when the ball is snapped it is okay. Yeah you can jump over, you can go over—there are rules against leaping and leveraging in try situations and field goals but not on scrimmage plays,” Fisher said.
So what Polamalu in the neutral zone when the ball was snapped?
“There is no way he was not in the neutral zone,” ‘Fisher said, although footage of the play shown at halftime of Monday night’s New Orleans-San Francisco game argued that Polamalu timed his leap just a split second after Eugene Amano snapped the football.